Hi everyone, I thought I would share my first experience preparing my own loose leaf tea. I went to TeaSource as it was close to my home and purchased two tung tings trying to get that wonderful flavor I had in portland with the Frozen Summit.
I got two ounces of each, one Tung Ting Oolong
which was just $3.54 for two ounces, and then the pricier Green Dragon Oolong
which was $7.80 for two ounces. The Green Dragon smelled much better but I wanted to try both in case there wasn't much difference than I could stick to the cheaper in the future.
I also purchased my first gaiwan, a plain white porcelan one that I am quite terrible at using!
I started with the cheaper Tung Ting so as to not disappoint myself. I don't have a thermometer for the water, but I brought my kettle almost to a boil with lots of steam and bubbles forming below the surface and poured it over one and a half teaspoons in my 6 oz gaiwan and waited 3 minutes. Then I poured half the tea into my cup, and the other half all over my coffee table.
It didn't taste anything close to as wonderful as the Frozen Summit and I was pretty disappointed. It was good, just a little bland and it didn't have the buttery taste I was looking for. It tasted slightly toasty.
The second infusion I did for 3 minutes as well and I did notice just a hint of a buttery taste. Unfortunately, the coffee table once again enjoyed it as much as I did.
The last infusion I waited 6 minutes and it was mediocre again. I did manage to succesfully pour ALL the tea from the gaiwan to my teacup at least. Maybe if I find just the right combination of brewing time and water temp I can bring more flavor out. It is just not as subtle as I would like. I am going to try the pricier Green Dragon tonight and my hopes are high!
Here's some pictures of the Tung Ting (I couldn't get the images to display here)